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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Letter To The Editor

I recently posted a comment on the Emeryville google group (bike_walk Emeryville) about egregious spending and equally questionable inaction on the part of the city council. I assumed they and perhaps citizens as well would respond but, assuming my remarks were even read, i appear to be mistaken about the level of interest in these matters..

Specifically, i indicated that the salaries of (City Manager Pat) O'Keeffe and (City Attorney Mike) Biddle exceeded $200000/year , that they have additional benefits, including paid health care, that their contracts can be obtained for review, that O'Keeffe should be fired because the budget deficit was incurred and continues on his watch and he refuses any responsibility for it ,that Biddle's performance as assessed by the costs of the litigation he has presided over, should be evaluated, that it may be less expensive to replace both men by contracting out their positions and that same should be explored.

I also asked whether either man has had to compete openly for his position and that if they have not, to instigate that kind of open competition immediately in the interest of cost cutting and that an explanation of why there has been no such open competition over several contract renewals, be made by the council.

I also remarked that (City Councilman Ken) Bukowski's continued presence is a stain on city gov't and that he should be removed forthwith. I offered an email i received from him as well.

I indicated that there has been no action on obtaining a tenant for the marina, no feedback on the status of that from the parties contracted to find same and therefore a loss of potential income to the city continues.. I requested that feedback.

I commented that i would like to embrace Emeryville as my city but cannot do so unless the kinds of issues mentioned are taken seriously....
Given that the council and many citizens may not be concerned about such matters ( with the exception of City Councilwoman Jennifer West on the council) I think the city will get what it continues to receive on these issues.

I think we should all be troubled by the existence of these very fixable problems and hope that they will be addressed now -and certainly at election time.

Walt Watman
Emeryville resident


  1. Good letter Walt. I also keep wondering what the hell is Ken Bukowski STILL on our council? That man is a disgrace! We have to make sure he isn't reelected (yet again). It's almost like he's made a game of seeing how much he can get away with and still stay on the council.

  2. What a good idea to contract out those two positions instead of trying to contract out early education and the teachers' positions at ECDC.
    Huge savings for the city and maybe a better perspective on redevelopment.

  3. Word has it that Ruth Atkin is going to try and contract out for Fire Services. Check the July 20th Council Agenda when it becomes available. I hope this doesn't turn into reduced services for the Community as the Fire Department is already extremely understaffed and is relying on Mutual Aid from neighboring departments on a frequent basis. I guess we'll see!